World’s tiniest surviving boy goes home

By Dave Andrusko

The boy is seen five days after his birth in Tokyo, Japan, in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters on Feb. 27, 2019. (Keio University School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics)

After five months of treatment, an amazing baby boy, thought to be the smallest male newborn ever to survive and be released healthy, is now home and “feeding normally.” Keio University Hospital in Japan said it discharged the unnamed baby last week, “two months after his initial due date,” CBS News reported

The preemie was born in August at 24 weeks weighing 268 grams (9.45 ounces) and was so tiny he fit in an adult’s cupped hands. He was delivered by emergency C-Section when it appeared he had stopped growing.

“I can only say I’m happy that he has grown this big [just over seven pounds] because honestly, I wasn’t sure he could survive,” the boy’s mother said, according to CBS News.

Dr. Takeshi Arimitsu, who treated the little baby, told the BBC

he was the smallest infant born (on record) to be discharged from a hospital, according to a database of the world’s littlest babies held by the University of Iowa.

He said he wanted to show that “there is a possibility that babies will be able to leave the hospital in good health, even though they are born small”.

Citing the University of Iowa database that tracks the world’s smallest surviving babies, the hospital said the previous record was “held by a boy born in Germany in 2009 weighing just 274 grams (9.6 ounces),” CBS News reported.

According to that University of Iowa registry, the tiniest baby ever to survive and go home healthy was a girl born in 2015 in Germany, weighing 252 grams (8.9 ounces).

“Among the very smallest babies, the survival rate is much lower for boys than girls. Medical experts are unsure why, though some believe it could be linked to the slower development of male babies’ lungs,” the BBC reported.